TWO LETTERS Written to A Gentleman of Note GUILTY OF Common Swearing.

When Clowns hear their Betters discharge loud Volleys of Oaths, they will soon find they are as well quali­fied for that part of Greatness as the best: Their Tongues are as much their own, and will be glad that by such an easie Imployment of them, they can be Gentlemen so good cheap.
Gent. Call.

By B. J.

LONDON, Printed for Benj. Tooke, 1691.


Worthy Sir,

THO' this comes not from one that can pretend to the Honour of your intimate Acquaintance; yet one, nevertheless, your Friend in the greatest Sincerity; yea, much more your Friend, than such as can be unconcern'd, a­ny further, than to make a Game of that which threatens the Ruin of a Gentleman so well accomplisht with more than ordina­ry Parts and Ingenuity.

To deal freely with you, Sir, (since I have lately heard you make so bold with One that's infinitely more your Superiour, than you are mine) That which you might reckon the Grace and Emphasis of your Talk, was to me so extreamly Noisom and Grievous, that I found it a very difficult Task to be your Patient so long as I was. And because I [Page 4] then spake so little to interrupt the prophane Humour, I think my self obliged in Consci­ence, to signifie the more in this Paper; yea, the rather did I prevail with my self so much to stifle my Resentments at that Time, be­cause I resolved now to pour them out more fully in this manner, as hoping I might do it with less Offence, and better Effect, to propose the Matter to your calm Thoughts, when cool and retired, than if I had offer­ed to Ruffle before those, who might per­adventure have stomach'd me as injurious to their Meeting, had I there solemnly entred the Lists to dispute that Cause, which I am going to plead with you at present.

'Tis to me, Sir, a most astonishing thing, to see one whom the Bounty of Heaven has rais'd so much above the Common Level, both for Endowments of Mind, and Enjoy­ments of the World, so far forget himself, as to fly in the Face of his Sole Founder, and Supream Benefactor, and at the most daring rate, Tear and Blaspheme that Tre­mendous Name, which He has declar'd, He will not hold him guiltless that takes in vain. When 'tis not only the most irregular invert­ing the end of your Creation, (as if you were made only to dishonour God) but the very height of Ingratitude, so to turn the noble Faculty of Speech against him, without whom you could not so much as speak at all.

[Page 5] Can you chuse, Sir, but discern what an Absurdity it is to own the Christian Name; yea, and bow at the very mention of Je­sus; and yet so slight and play upon the Great Lord of Christians, as to Swear even altogether, when he Charges every one of his, not to swear at a [...]l. And what does it, but still add to the Absurdity, when 'tis rea­dily confest to be a scandalous Evil, which you ought to renounce, and yet you will as confidently persist in this Guilt, as if you believ'd it harmless, or a Matter of nothing.

What sort of Christian is that, who acts as 'twere in spight of Christ? And I may askt, What kind of Subject too, that is so cross to his Soveraign, as boldly to keep up that horrid Ungodliness, which our truly Christian Prince has used the utmost Care to suppress? Letting all the World know, 'tis after another rate now, he would have Men express their Loyalty to him, than to Swear and Drink for him. As being a great deal Wiser, than to expect they should ever be true to him, who stick not so notoriously to Rebel-against an infinitely Greater. And were it at all possible, they could thus be Loy­al, yet how would he abhor their Service at the Cost of God's dishonour; counting it no commendable Reflection at all on his Sacred Person, to own such bold Pretenders to his Grace and Favour: Who (if his Signal [Page 6] Example will not at last shame them into better Manners) must go stigmatized as worse Affronters of his Laws and Majesty, even than any that take upon them to dis­pute the Right of his Royal Authority: For tho' I do not think, that this admits of any just Scruple at all; yet as to the Pro­phane Customary Swearing, there's not the least Controversie with any Men of Sobri­ety whatsoever, But that he, who allows himself in such a known Wickedness, open­ly Resists, and Desies the Crown of Heaven and Earth both together.

Whatever, Sir, be your Station, Revenue, Titles, and Dignity, you cannot imagine, sure, that you have any Authority to be a Common Swearer, as you are a Gentleman, a Magistrate, or a Souldier.

First, As a Gentleman, How utterly should you scorn such Boarish Manners as infinitely below you! That which is a Badge of In­famy to the very scum of the People; ar­guing no better Rank and Quality, than to be of the Hissing Lineage of the Old Ser­pent, who is for Spitting his Venome most against him that is absolutely the Best. Can it become your Dignity, or ever be be rec­kon'd as any of your Bravery? Be sure, that Lamp of Reputation which is fed with God's Dishonour, will cast but a very ill Whift in any Nostrils, except such as prefer the [Page 7] nastiest Dunghill before the sweetest Garden. The Swearing which I now make bold to capi­tulate with you concerning, but like an Im­posthume issuing out of a dead Mans mouth, speaks you even Dead in Sin, and so rots your Name, and lays all your Honour in the dust.

But the most unaccountable thing it is, that ever Swearing should be reputed a Mark of fine Breeding; or any gentile, graceful Property, which in truth is so contrary to all good Man­ners, and a rude Entrenching upon all Or­derliness and Common Civility; a Nusance and Affront to every Ingenious, Sober Com­pany; and the greatest Offence to all that fear God, and make any Conscience at all of his Word; who had rather you should spit in their Faces, than so outragiously abuse and mock the Sovereign Object of all their dearest Love, and highest Regard.

Next as a Magistrate; Are you not oblig­ed, Sir, to Check and Punish this very thing, which your self have been so deep in the guilt of? And which your own Practice so tends to Countenance and Embolden, that the Vulgus take no small Pride to be in your Fashion, thinking to ingratiate themselves with their Betters, by licking your Ulcers; yea are a­fraid to be hissed off the Stage as Squeamish Precisians, should they be so Cowardly as not venture to Copy out such Presidents; and so even to save their Credit, it seems necessary [Page 8] to transplant your Shame into their Soil. Thus instead of exerting your Power and Interest to quash that Prophaness and Blasphemy, which makes the Land to mourn, and cries aloud for Vengeance; How do you sadden the Souls of the Righteous, strengthen the Hands of the Wicked, and express the greatest Spight and Enmity to your Country, in doing still so much the more Mischief, by how much the larger is your Influence? For this makes the Wicked Swagger, and tumultuously walk on eve­ry side, when the vilest Men are exalted. When such possess the Places of Honour, Trust and Power, as not only stand for Cyphers, to let the most obnoxious escape with Impunity; and dare not shame that which Dishonours God, least it should recoil in their Faces, and put themselves to extream Confusion; but al­so serve for a Back and Skreen to the Blasphe­mous Rout, to make them scorn the Parson, and set every Reprover at defiance, when as they have such big Names to quote for their Justification and Warrant. O! Sir, How do you think the Eternal Judge of Quick and Dead, will in the final Audit, look upon this sort of Magistrates, that gave such singular aid and furtherance to his Ministers:

Again, as a Souldier; Can you think it your Valour, Sir, to hector God Almighty? And that you are a stout Man, because you dare make so bold (as no one in his right Wits [Page 9] would do) with the Supream Majesty? Whom to contemn, the very Heathens have counted it no better than Fool hardiness and Madness: Or is there any thing like a wise Conduct in the Case, when as you are engaged against o­ther Enemies, to go strive with your Maker, and so make him your Enemy too? O! Sir, if you would approve your self truly Great and Couragious, here's a Combat worthy the faithful Souldier and Servant of Christ Jesus, even to encounter with all your might this reigning Sin of Swearing, that like another Mighty Goli­ah, sends out Challenges against Heaven, de­fying not only the Hosts of the Living God, but even the God of Hosts himself; yea, that Marches through the World, Great and Ter­rifying, Insolent and Domineering, to dis­hearten, even, the Zealous for their Lord's Interest, from venturing to resist it.

When this Party of Rebels is grown so big, that the Injustice of the Cause even ceaseth to be questioned, and their Numbers pass for Ar­guments on their side; and therefore do so many take the boldness to list themselves into the Hellish Regiment; taking it for a piece of Cowardice to fear an Oath; when he that will not Swear at all, is ready to be pointed at, with ( [...]) yonders he! star'd at as a Pro­digy, and scoffed for a Pedant. When you hear your Company, Sir, grow Malapert and Sawcy with God himself, to toss in their unhal­lowed Mouths, as a thing of nought, his Tre­mendous [Page 10] Name; and at every turn cite the Glorious Majesty, and Dreadful Judg of all the World, to vouch all their impertinent Prate; as if their Tongues were touch'd with a Cole from Hell, and their Consciences sear'd with an hot Iron out of the same Fire; that even as fast as they fetch'd Words out of the abun­dance of their Hearts, so fast this putrid Scum boils up into their Mouths from the same cor­rupt Fountain: yea, when they can Swear and Rant, not only out of inadvertence, but avow­edly, for the Gallantry of the business, as if they were the braver Men, because they dare be such Sinners with a Witness, and take Hell by violence, scorning to be stopt or restrained, trampling under foot the Blood of Christ; if but to make themselves sport, piercing his Side afresh with Oaths, sharper than the Sol­diers Spear; and playing away the Virtue of that Name, which alone is able to save them from the Damnation they imprecate. Here! here's a Field, Sir, wherein to acquit you as a Man, and approve your Conduct and Pro­wess in making a worthy Opposition, and dar­ing to appear for God, when such multitudes have the Foreheads to let fly at him, and dis­cover themselves against him. Here's a War­fare where you have the best Cause, and the best Call; and if you shrink back, you fall under a Curse too, even that of Meroz, for not coming to the help of the Lord, against such mighty Adversaries of his Glory.

[Page 11] Do but think with your self, Sir, what an unpardonable Affront would such a one as you account it, to be call'd a Bastard? And the most indelible Brand of Cowardice, not to stand up in your own Vindication, under such a vile Imputation. But, truly Sir, if a Son honours his Father, and cannot endure to see him exposed, or hear him ridicul'd; I must be bold to tell you, that you give shrew'd sus­pition you are but of a Spurious Brood, and no true Child of the Heavenly Father, when you can find in your heart, so unnaturally, and even of set purpose, to load his Name with Scorn; yea, when you can but be a tame and silent Witness of his Dishonour, and your Blood not rise, and your Spirit not be stir'd in you, to put you upon the Vindicating and Asserting of his Right and Glory.

Should one offer to give you the Lye, I know, Sir, you would think your Honour so touched, there were not only Apology enough for a Quarrel, but even necessity of a Duel. And yet if you are a Swearer, pray what con­sidering Man will you ever induce to believe that you are no Lyar? For what should make him strain so much at a Lye, who has so glib a Swallow for Oath upon Oath? When the very same Lord that said, Thou shalt not forswear thy self; said also, Swear not at all: He that sticks not to thwart him in the lat­ter, it is hard trusting him in the former. [Page 12] And to tye Truth to such Mens Oaths, how fond and senseless is it? It is true, say you, for I heard such a one swear it: Pitiful Lo­gick! When the right Inference from the Premises is just on the other side, It's false, or nothing like to be true, because a Swearer affirmed it. For what's said by the Swearers, be sure comes from none of Christ's Scholars, who is Truth it self; they are better Taught, and Swear not at all. It must then come from them, who are of his training up, that is, the Father of Lyes, and is to be cre­dited thereafter. And such must never hope to recover their Credit among the Wise, till they cease to be found among the Swear­ers; their Word then, will indeed go a great deal further than now their Oath.

Do but see then here, Sir, how mischie­vous to the World, and what an irrepara­ble wrong to humane Society, is the weakning these Sacred Bonds of Conscience, by the frequent use of Oaths in ordinary Chat, so to render them cheap and contemptible; when the Awe and Reverence of an Oath is quite lost and gone, by debasing it to every toyish purpose; And when Men can play with Oaths, even every where; alas, who can expect they should be punctual and se­rious therein any where? And after this rate, what the more satisfaction can you have, when you give Men their Oaths, that [Page 13] they do not make a Lye as well as make Oath? And how can the King and Queen be sure of such Mens Allegiance, or any one else of their true Testimony or Fidelity to their Promise? And so Kingdoms are shaken, and all Faith and Trust among Men destroyed, by the idle, trivial use of Swearing. And for all such Damages accurring to the Pub­lick, from this horrid Abuse of Speech, e­very Common Swearer is responsible; and much more those of Eminent Station, who by their Examples should teach others bet­ter.

How like a Ruler then, that Rules for God, as well as Reigns by him, does the King's most Ex­cellent Majesty now urge the hampering those unruly Beasts of the People with Penal Inflicti­ons, that will not be wrought upon to for­go such a Barbarous Practice, by any more fair perswasive Methods? And as they are the deadly Enemies of their Country, who will not abridge themselves of this Ungod­ly Pleasure, tho' it were to save a Church, to save a Kingdom, and to please God and the King both together; So I dare refer it to your self, Sir, (when you do but enter­tain any serious Thoughts) what true Friends they can be to the Publick, who in such a Case as this, will Heal and Connive at the Offenders, and not dare, what in them lies, as far as they are bound, to bring such no­torious [Page 14] Criminals to Shame and Suffering. But this, alas, we are not like to have the pleasure of seeing, till the Lesser Wheels move yet more regularly under the Grea­ter. For the Vulgar will not think it good Manners to lead their Betters the way, till yea, yea; and nay, nay; become the Mode of their Landlords and Masters, as well as of their King and Queen; and not only So­vereignty on the Throne, but Magistracy also on the Bench, fears an Oath. But, O! how happy then would it be with us, if eve­ry one concern'd would act as Good Sub­jects under the Best of Rulers, who are not for bearing the Sword in Vain, but would be (as the Rejoycing of them that do well, so) a Terror to Evil-doers.

Now, this, Sir, I cannot but think most pertinent for your Consideration, who pro­fess so much Love to your Country, and Loy­alty to King William and Queen Mary. They are both indeed excellent Pretensions, and 'tis great pity you should be therein guilty of any Self contradictions.

For how can you sincerely Love your Coun­try, when you Patronize the cursedthing that bodes nothing but its Ruine? As His Sacred MAJESTY, most truly and pi­ously, like himself, has laid down the Posi­tion, That our Religion, Peace, and Happiness, are all endangered by reason of that overflow­ing [Page 15] of Vice, which is too notorious in this Na­tion.

And what Loyalty to Their Majesties, when still you are so much for the thing, which they have declared themselves so much a­gainst: 'Tis, methinks, a strange sort of Loyalty, only to Cross and Provoke them. Though the Ranting Loyalty of Debauched Ruffians, it's true, was sometime since in Fashion; yet, pray good Sir, remember, that now it's another Reign, and such Prin­ces (blessed be God) we are under, as do not make a Jest of all Serious Religion. And the pretence of honouring them with God's Dishonour, is growing so fulsome, that nothing more uncovers the Nakedness of the Authors; when the King's published Letter again acquaints us, That He most earnestly desires, and will endeavour a General Reformation of the Lives and Manners of all His Subjects, as being that which must establish His Throne. What Supporters then are they of the Throne, who think still to testify their Loyalty by the most prophane Extravagan­cy? And what Honour and Deference do they pay to the Royal Pleasure, who instead of striving to promote it, only give broad Significations, how much they Scorn and Con­temn it?

I have heard you declare, Sir, That you are no Papist, Phanatick, nor Disaffected to [Page 16] the Present Government. Yea, I perceive too much, you are very forward, uncall'd, to Swear, when some will not Swear now, though called to it. But in good truth, Sir, I think it is to little purpose, what you do call your self, as long as you abide under this Heinous Guilt; for at the bottom they can be of no Religion at all, but are the foulest Scandal to the Christian Name, and a heavy Plague to the World, who Name God in their Oaths, oftner than in their Prayers; and have little to do with Him, but only thus to provoke him. See that you do not here symbolize too right with Rome, before you are aware, in post­poning the weightiest Matters of the Law, to the Mint, Annise and Cummin; while you in­veigh most bitterly against all that (to a hairs breadth) conform not to the Humane In­stitutions, and in that mean time your self can swallow the Camels of such Monstrous Oaths, as make the greatest Violation, and the rudest Attack upon God's own express Command.

One would think you owed the Church of England no real Kindness, Sir, when you so eagerly lay claim to its Membership, only to Reproach it; as if it gave you a Protection for that open Ungodliness, which the very Light of Nature utterly Shames, and Condemns: And you would prove your self a Son of the Church, by acting like a Child of the Devil. [Page 17] Sir, you too much Credit those, whom you so divert your self to Bespatter; yea, you change Names with them, while you Rant at them. For who in earnest is the bigger Fana­tick and Madcap, he that boggles at an indif­ferent Ceremony, or he that makes no Con­science at all of the most notorious Damna­ble Iniquity? Do you think to Convert Dis­senters with your hairbrain'd Swearing and Damning? Or to invite them into our Holy Communion, with such leud Communication? Indeed, no wonder this should make the Of­fering of the Lord abhorred; and bring a Scan­dal and Prejudice on the best Cause it self, for the sake of such kind of Patrons and Abet­tors appearing in it, only to turn the Adver­saries Stomacks more, and open their Mouths wider against it.

Be it known to you, Sir, The Church of Eng­land is no Mother of such Abominations: 'Tis the silliest mistake in any, that think to find Swearing in her Litany. And he as obstinate­ly shuts his Eyes against the Light, who sees not all irreverent Abuse of God's Name, cry­ed down in her Homily. But when you can so defile your own Nest, and Blemish the most Excellent Profession, as well a desperately fling at the Glory of Him that made you; Here, if ever, The Righteous Judge of all the Earth is concern'd to shew himself, and take such Au­dacious [Page 18] Criminals in hand, to make them feel it in Judgments worthy of God, who will not leave off, so to dare him to it; but carry on the Affront still, though their Sin hath not so much as the face of any Worldly Interest, or Fleshly Pleasure in it; and there's no Na­tural Inclination, or Impetuous Appetite to it, not so much as to make the Plea of Hu­mane Infirmity for it. But the mad Swearer swears even for pure Swearing sake; Sins Gra­tis, in Contempt of Heaven; and sells his Soul for no Consideration at all, but out of a Fantastick Humour, to follow an inconsiderate Herd to his own Eternal Ruin.

Good Sir, you have Reason to Judge and Consider in Cases much less plain than this; what Lethargy then has seized your Sense, that it does not befriend you here? To reflect, what a fearful thing it is to fall into the Hands of the Living God, who is a Righteous Judge, Strong, and Patient, and wretchedly provoked (you know it) every day. But think you not that he could Command the Earth to open her Jaws, and take the Swearers down quick into Hell, as once it did Corah and his Crew? Or think you not, that he could Rain a Hell down even from Heaven, as he did on Sodom, and the Cities of the Plain? For certain his Arm is not shortned, that he cannot; but his Bowels are so tender, he waits, and gives ill Men [Page 19] space to Repent and Turn; which if after▪ all his Goodness that should lead them to Repentance, they will not, it's time for him then to lay to his Hand, and whet his Sword, and bend his Bow, and make ready his Arrows, and prepare for them the Instruments of Death.

Your self, Sir, I am sure, would never en­dure to have such Contempt cast upon you, and such Affronts offered you: And must he, that is so beyond all Comparison more Excel­lent, be thus put upon, and take all the foul­est Indignities from you? All the Patience in the World else, would never bear at this rate. And abundant Experience indeed, Sir, you have had of it, that God is Long-suffering; But yet he that endures so long, will not do it always: Abused mercy must be righted, and will have Vengeance. Though the prophane Swearer may be ready to think himself hail-fel­low with his Glorious Maker; yet be sure his Sin will find him out. God has his Book of Accounts, in which all the Oaths stand upon Record; and he hath said, He will not hold him Guiltless: And the Blasphemous Wretch will be like to find a Meiosis too in that Threat, which imports thus much more than is exprest, that such shall be proceeded against as the most guilty. And 'tis as if he should say, I will be sure to punish them, whoever else es­cape; because of my Name, I am most ten­der, [Page 20] even as the Apple of mine Eye; such shall therefore take my Name in vain another day too, and in the last Judgment, cry Lord, Lord, but I will not hear them. And after all their time of Swearing and Slighting me, I will take my time to cast them off, and swear they shall never enter into my Rest.

Thus is the Swearer's Doom gone out alrea­dy: And he does but Antedate his own Eternal Dirges, as he so often Anticipates the Sen­tence of his own Damnation; beginning be­times to Exercise himself in that Cursing and Blaspheming, which is like to be the best Mu­sick of his Torments for ever; and so well may Orcus signify, both an Oath and Hell, when they are so near a kin. The place rings with such sounds, and it gapes for such Mis­creants, as use to belch out this Poyson, on­ly to please a Devilish Humour.

Now, Sir, will you cry, Damn him, he Preaches Damnation? Though you should so vent your Indignation; you know a Reason why I am not to wonder at the very worst you can say against your Fellow Creature. But with your leave, Sir, if I do predict the Wrath to come, that you may flee from it, I think I do but offer you a Blessing for your Imprecation; and let my Charity find only the contemptu­ous Return, He Preaches! I shall as little re­gard [Page 21] to be made the scorn of the Swearers, as the song of the Drunkards.

But I hope better things yet, Sir, from such a Temper and Reason as yours. I hope that you, who can be so obliging to others, will not preversly shake off a Servant of his, you call your Saviour, only Praying you in Christ's stead to be Reconciled unto God. I hope that you, who know so much more than many of your poor Inferiors, will be Wiser than to make the sad purchase of more stripes, for strik­ing so madly at God himself, when as Consci­ence cannot chuse but tell you all the while, 'tis nothing but kicking against the pricks, and Strugling with Him, who will certainly prove quite too hard for you.

Your fair Reception of a late Friendly Ad­monition, speaks you to be of another nature than those Beasts that turn again, and rent their Reprovers. And it is a thousand pities, that a Disposition and Ingenuity capable of the most Excellent Impressions, should be so o­ver-run with rank Weeds, and the most per­nicious Briars.

Alas, Sir, What can you ever propose to your self, in adhering to a scandalous Haunt, that hath no manner of Satisfaction, even to the Carnal Appetite; pleaseth never a sense? [Page 22] You know what the Ingenious and Honoura­ble Mr. Herbert says, Were I an Epicure, I could bate Swearing; 'tis Pleasure that drills on the Drunkard; filthy Lucre that's the Mi­sers bait; and the Ambitious tow'rs after the Lure of Honour; all have some Colour, tho' false, for their Evil; only the Diabolical Swearer embraces Wickedness even for it self.

Let me beseech you then, Sir, for pity to your own Soul, (if not for the Fear and Love of God) Rescue it from the Bonds of this Ru­ining Custom, and do not yield your self to be taken Captive by the Devil at his will. But after all your impious Oaths, will you make one Religious Vow, never so to Swear again; and Fear an Oath, even as you would dread a Chain that will bind you to Fire Un­quenchable. O! let him that gave you a Tongue, and Power to use it, have the Praise and Glory of it. And do not make it the Weapon so to Fight with your Maker, a­gainst whom none did ever stand it out and prosper. Nor think it will ever at all sessen your self, should you vouchsafe most high­ly to magnifie Him, and for ever stand in awe of Him, whom all the Noblest Crea­tures in the World are Ambitious to Ho­nour and Adore.

Can it chuse, Sir, but grate hard upon [Page 23] your Rational Sense, to pervert that Power of speaking, which sets you so much above the Bruits, to make you even like the De­vils? And shall the Member, stil'd your Glory, only serve to shame your self, for throwing Dirt with it at your Lord and Master? O! What hath he ever done to you, that you should so fly upon him? Hath he filled you so full with his abundant Kind­nesses of various Sorts, only that you should Swell and Burst out against him▪ and ever and anon be speaking Evil of him, who is continually doing you good? And what are you made of, if that most Venerable Word of his, which Awes all the World, is no more to you than the most Contemptible Ballad, which you can trample in the dirt; ventu­ring still to Swear so thick, when therein you are so strictly charged, Not to do it at all?

O! Sir, as you have, I say, not only any Conscience and Religion of a Christian, but any Sobriety, Decency, and Discretion of a Man; have no more to do with such noto­rious Works of the Devil, but Renounce, Reprove them, and testifie your Abhorrence of them; and make all else, that ever you are able, asham'd and afraid of them. O! use your Tongue henceforth to better pur­poses, than as the Boystrous Instrument to [Page 24] lift up against Heaven, and destroy your own Soul, and injure all your Neighbours, (I say All) while you nothing but harden some, and sadden the rest. And let not the same Mouth, with which you pray to God, and praise him, be ever wrung to those harsh and hideous Notes of Cursing and Blas­pheming.

O! be thankful to him, that he hath not long since taken you off in the Act of Swear­ing, and thrown you down into the Place of endless Cursing. And speak Good of his Name, which he would have to be for ever exalted above all things; take it not into your Mouth only to pollute it; nor ever mention it, but with all Reverence and Godly Fear. If you take not the Lord for a dumb Idol, dare not any more so to Reproach the Liv­ing God. For, alas, the little Bubble that swells, and arrogantly imagines to appear Big for huffing the Almighty himself, will but thus the sooner be dashed to pieces; and God will get Glory to himself in con­founding the proud Rebel, who after a lit­tle Blaze, shall go out in a Stench here, and awake hereafter to Shame and Everla­sting Contempt. But them that Honour him, God will Honour: Honour them with that Honour that is of himself, a deserved Re­putation on Earth, and Glory Everlasting in his Heavenly Kingdom.

[Page 25] SIR, I fear you are tired with reading, and I hope you will grow as weary of the rebuked Sin, which else will bring you a far heavier Reckoning. I pray, that you may so feel the Burden of its Guilt, that you may never feel the Weight of its Punishment. And God grant that you may become as Eminent and Exemplary for your Tender­ness and Zeal to Reverence the Name of God, and Assert his Glory, as ever you have been Obnoxious, and under Censure, for ma­king bold with his Titles, and trampling up­on his Honour. I am, Sir,

Your most faithful Monitor, and Humble Servant, B. J.

Sure he is a very sorry Shepheard that is buisie to kill Flyes in the Sheep, but lets the Wolf Worry at pleasure. Why one Wolf will do more Mischief in a Night, than a Thousand of them in a Twelve-month, Bp. Sand. Serm. 1. ad Mag.


I Must beg your Pardon, if I cannot ap­prehend any just Cause of Displeasure given, That a Copy of the Former was Published for the sake of others; when as the Name is still concealed, for the sake of one best known to your self. It being upon no Person at all, but meerly upon the Thing which most grosly Dishonours any Per­son, that I would cast the Disgrace. And when it is to be feared, There are many equally concerned as your self in the Mis­carriage: I cannot be sorry, they should [Page 28] all take their Share in this Publication: Which carries no Design to Libel any par­ticular Gentleman; but to disperse a gene­ral Admonition to as many as will be no kinder to themselves, than to make it per­tinent to their own Case. At least I would Perstringe, whom I cannot Reclaim: And throw my Bucket upon that Flame, which is too Outragious for me to Flatter my self with the Hopes of quite Extinguishing.

YOU may think your self out of my Thoughts, as well as out of my Reach, Sir, now you have cross'd the Waters, to abide in Parts more Remote: But as all the Waters in that Channel you have past, cannot quench my Concernment for you; so the Kindness of a Noble Friend who divides with me the Cure of your Welfare, (That these Appli­cations, which carry some Heat, may not find you as the Clay, but the Wax;) has assured me of such a Conveyance, that this shall not fail to find you out: Yet, Sir, I had no Thoughts of sending after you the SECOND ADDRESS till I perceived you took along with you some Resentments occasioned by the Former: Which I know, told too much Truth to Please any, but such as in Earnest hate the Rebuked Evil: and count it no Exposing of themselves, to see that which Dishonours God put to Con­fusion.

[Page 29] THAT I take upon me agen to Adver­tise you, Sir, of a domestick Enemy, which I fear may prove more pernicious to you, than you are apt to imagine, and threatens you with bigger Dangers, than any from French or Irish (let them do the worst that God shall suffer them:) If my Calling does not give me Warrant to do it, I am sure my Conscience would not give me Quiet till I did it. And I had rather be Blamed as too Officious, for tendering a Rejected piece of Service and Friendship; than lye under some other Frowns and Rebukes, more grie­vous to be born, than any I fear from Men. However, I apprehend it a Bold Attempt, not only to Hazard the displeasure of any above me, but also to Engage against me a whole Band of Sticklers for their Diana, who peradventure upon such an Occasion, may add to their former Scores, and Bind themselves in some New Oaths of Venge­ance: Yet this to me gives Encourage­ment enough to Ballance whatever's diffi­cult or frightful in the Undertaking, That I am but persuing the Service which I have Vowed to God, and the Loyalty which I have Sworn to Their Majesties: And here­in have not any manner of Personal Quar­rel to incite me; nor a design to defame ought in the World, but the most Odious [Page 30] Impiety it self: and what I can to Enervate the Force of that which I have more than a single Engagement upon me to Fight a­gainst.

NOR is it at the Gentry that I have the least Pique at all: than among whom I do not know more Excellent Christians in the World: And to whose Kindness and Re­spects I have so many particular Obligati­ons: (more than are fit for my Expres­sion, as well as above my Expectation:) Enough to tempt me to Pride and Boasting, rather than to any other sort of Ill Hu­mour. And I must leave others to judge, What Room there can be for the Objecti­on, That I should invidiously derogate from that which I have nothing to shew for my self, (though I am sensible how inconside­rable is the Honour derived from a Family, to add one Cubit to Onos Stature.) And I count it but Loss, &c. But therefore to the Gentleman do I make my Application, both as supposing him Master of the Quickest Sense to take the Impressions of Reason; and al­so to have the biggest Influence, to Credit whatever such a one as He Espouses and Fa­vours: And, by that Medium, the more to Hurt or Benefit many others. Now for the Success, I must leave it in his Hands, who Fashions all Hearts; hoping it will not be [Page 31] utterly Frustrate and Lost upon all: Tho' to some it should prove no better than a New Verification of the Prophets Old Com­plaint, I will get me to the Great Men, and will speak unto them, for they have known the Way of the Lord, and the Judgment of their God: But these have altogether Broken the Yoke, and Burst the Bonds.

Sir, As I cannot be eager to live in the Fire, so 'tis far from my Design, to be a Man of Contention: Yet you know there is a Warfare wherein I am full as much con­cerned as you, which engages us, upon some Occasions, to Contend, and that Earnestly too. Who ever call such Zeal and Fidelity to our Lord, nothing but Pragmaticalness and Enmity to our Neighbours: These are the same kind of Judges among whom that passes for the only Charity, which the sacred Oracles call Hating our Brother in our Heart, who think every one hates them that does not rightly humour them: And cry out of the Reprover for a Turbulent Wrangler; though he breaks no Peace, unless that which the Prince of Peace himself tells us, He did not come to send: The Peace which nuzzles Men up in those Sins that Ripen them for Hell; crying, All's well, till all be Undone. But whenever I must be so unhappy to lose Friends, or procure Foes, I shall count it [Page 32] none of the most opprobrious, (as I am sure it's none of the worst) ways to do it, in the Conscientious Discharge of that Ju­stice and Charity which I owe to my Neigh­bours Soul. And I cannot think there's much occasion to droop under the Indignation of those that shew no such Antipathy, either a­gainst the Ghostly Enemies which they have Vowed to GOD, or against the Worldly, which they are paid by Their Majesties, strenuously to Oppose; as against the Ho­nest Reprover whom they stomack as the big­est Offender; and take none for such a bit­ter deadly Foe, as him that would bereave them of that Darling, which our Saviour calls, The Right Hand and the Right Eye: And who would much regard the Slander or Clamour of their Mouths, that can so far forget and debase themselves, as to act not only the Clown, but the Fiend, to fly in the very Face of Him that made them?

IF you thought, Sir, that I said too much to the Gentleman, the Magistrate, or the Soul­dier; I must beseech you to excuse me, that herein I am so far from being of your Mind, that I do not think I have said enough; And therefore this comes as a supplement, fur­ther to urge those things which many may judge fit for you to hear; though I am far from Judging my self the fittest to speak: [Page 33] yet having my hand in, I will do as I can, where I cannot as I would.

AND to begin again with the Gentleman, (who may expect to be first served, though, if Guilty, he might better like some other Service:) It may be thought a Solaecism in Manners, for an ordinary Man to make so bold as mention Decency to such as have had Opportunities better to know the Laws of Polite Breeding. Though it was one of the Apostles that seconded his Lord, in giv­ing that Charge, Above all things, my Bre­thren, Swear not. Who knows but some Huffing Gentlemen, (should we direct this towards them,) might Quarrel both his Of­fice, and his strictness in the Point. What, no more but my Brethren? Hold Friend, We are your Masters. And Swear not A­bove all things? Why is that the Worst Thing you can name? What do you think of the Dissimulation and Hypocrysie of God­ly Cheats? Truly Sir, I think as bad as e­ver you can of them, wherever they are found: But I hope this Apostle was not one of 'em, for giving such a Check to the Swear­ers Practice. I profess I am under a migh­ty Mistake, if a Man may not rebuke odious Impiety, without being a Hypocrite. Yea, when upon occasion he does not testifie his Detestation of it, I see not how he can [Page 34] be the Faithful Servant of his LORD, with a Heart Right in the Sight of God: When one of the best Churches that ever was in the World, (Rev. 2. 2.) tho' among other Parts of her high Elogium, was com­mended for her Patience, yet) could not bear them that were Evil. And the meek Moses himself (you know) was Hot in GOD's Cause. Yea, even the Pacifick Lamb of God, who, for his sweet obliging Temper, heard Friend of Publicans and Sinners, yet could not forbear to Lash out of the Temple its Profaners: And had he met with another sort of Prophane, that make so Bold with a far Greater than the Temple, I cannot believe he would have thought them deserving of any Fairer Quarter.

But though 'tis no New Shift of Prophane Men, to put off their Admonishers with the Retort of Hypocrisie: And you may take it for Paradox, That Hypocrisie and Pro­phanness should ever Cohabit in the same Breast: Yet the Solution is obvious to a duller Apprehension than yours, that will but observe it. For in Conscience, Sir, what bet­ter Name than Hypocrite belongs to him that takes on him to be what he is not, yea what really he hates to be? Now does not the rudest Swearer and most scandalous Liver a­mong us, own himself a Christian? And would be much aggrieved not to be so repu­ted [Page 35] and called: A Christian! That is, A Professor of the Holiest Religion in the World: And yet if he openly act, as it were in spight of that most Holy Profession, and makes but a meer Scorn of its Excellent Rules and Precepts, par­ticularly those against Swearing: To what purpose does he profess it, but to play the Hypocrite, and Disgrace it? Pretending to Christianity, and yet when warn'd to Forbear those very Works of the Devil, which as a Christian, he has solemnly Vowed to Renounce: (And which indeed common Morality as well as Chri­stianity cries shame of:) He is only exasperated, and moved much more to Choller, than to Amendment. As you know some, Sir, that can so ill bear to be dealt with upon this account: They do not very Genteelly use such, as even in the fairest manner, offer them the kindest Friendship.

And such you know that look so big, as if all of Inferiour Rank were quite below their Notice: Or at least very Sawcy and Pragmatical, if they Offer at more Service to GOD, than Them­selves: That can Rip and Tear, like those that would Banter Heaven it self, and Run down the ever Blessed Majesty [Page 36] that there inhabits. As if the poor an­gry Worm which can but just crawl a­long the Ground, should think to sully or put out the Glorious Sun, with squirt­ing a little Dirt. Thus do they go to force themselves a Reputation by carry­ing it with a High Hand towards their Lord and Judge, as nothing afraid of Him, nor caring at all what his Word says to 'em. This, Sir, is Pure forcing things indeed; even as if they should strive to make the Stream of a River run upwards. For the World (howe­ver it Lies in Wickedness,) is not yet grown so Degenerate, as to count this Carriage Lovely and of good Report. Or what if it should be never so Highly Esteemed among Men, when 'tis Abomina­tion in the sight of God? And I may be confident that not one of the Knot can ever Believe that God thinks well of it: or can expect to hear at last from Him, Well done good and faithful Servant, for it. Though the Cry of his Companions is, A good honest ingenuous Fellow! The most Authentick Records in the World call him, The Wicked, who through the Pride of his Countenance will not seek af­ter God. And expose him for no better than an arrant Fool that scorns the fear [Page 37] of the Lord. Let them be the greatest Kings and Judges of the Earth, they are very ill instructed, and far from Wise, if they serve him not with more Fear. Were such assuming Wickedness Recom­mendation enough for a Gentleman, How cheap a thing would Gentility be? When even the vilest Wretch that's good for nothing, can soon get the Knack, to be an Egregious Bold-fac'd Sinner, lustily to Tun in his Drink, and Belch out his Oaths: And, it may be, Blaspheme GOD, and Bless the King, both in a Breath: Glory­ing in his Shame, instead of giving God the Glory; and the worse he does, think­ing himself the Better to pass.

But how easie is it, Sir, to shew you A more excellent Way? He that would ju­stifie his Claim to a Brave Mind, must not count Religion, but such Impiety, far Below him; esteeming it the Highest Birth to be Born of God, and ask the King of Heaven Blessing: And seeing more Excellence even in despised Godli­ness, than in all the Gallantry of this World: In whose Eyes a Vile Person is contemned, though never so Gay: But he Honours them that Fears the Lord, be they never so mean. The Mark of a truly Great Spirit, is to aspire after that [Page 38] Noblest Attainment, to be Great with the Most High himself. Not Lucifer-like, to Rival with him; and think to set up for a Great Some-Body, for daring to be excessive Ʋngodly: Nor to huff and storm as the Lofty Pharoah, who, (though so big a Man,) was but a silly Rebel for asking, Who is the Lord, that I should Obey him? As if it would too much have undervalued his Worth, to own any a­bove him. So would some be thought more than Men, who perhaps of all o­thers, have the least of Men in them. For let a Man appear never so Splendid abroad, (if the TONGUE be any In­dex of the Mind, and he may discover that Heart to the Ear, which our Eyes cannot see▪) As the Stinking Breath makes us suspect something Corrupt with­in: His Speech Bewrays him more than his Face. And the Blasphemous Mouth speaks his Soul to be even as Black as Hell: And then he must not think it much, that he is no more honoured, who will make himself so Cheap. Or what­ever Caps and Knees and Complements come in, he may look on all the Respect Men give him, as owing meerly to his Worldly Appendages about him; out of which Theatrical Gear if he were stript, [Page 39] he might, (for any right Worthy Ac­complishments of his own,) look as ri­diculous even as Aesop's Jay.

METHINKS, Sir, such as have been Well-Bred, do very ill use it, when they Scurrilously Abuse their Betters, especi­ally Him, who is so transcendently the Best, to whom they are Debtors for all the Advantages that ever they Enjoy above others. But how can it in truth deserve the name of Good-Breeding, that does not so much as teach Good Manners? And what Worse Manners can there be, than most rudely to Treat the Noblest Friend and Benefactor we have in the World? Has any Gentleman, think you, a Licence to make bolder with God than his poorest inferior should? When of a Truth, God is no respecter of Persons; but in every Na­tion he Accepts the Man (though of the lowest Rank) that Fears Him and Works Righteousness; and in no place will he accept the Gentleman, or other, that no­thing but Despises him, and works Wick­edness.

From Noble Organs, Sir, we expect Harmonious Sounds: and Vesse [...]s of Ho­nour sure should not be prostituted to the basest uses. The Foul mouth can never [Page 40] at all become the fine Gentleman. Indeed no Gentleman can ever Credit such an o­dious Sin, which does so extreamly dis­parage any man. To feed on the cours­est Fare, or filthyest Trash, and Carrion it self, how base and unworthy your Quality would you account it? And yet, if you will abide by the Determination of the Best Judge in the World, you must acknowledg that no Meat which goes into the Mouth, does so much Defile a man, as the Wicked Words which come out of it. Pardon the Freedom, Sir, of such as make bold to tell you, That they who count themselves so much better Persons, ought to set much better Patterns, and excell their Neighbours in Generous Vertue, and Heroick Piety, as well as in outward E­state and Dignity, else they are Persons of such Quality, as is little to their Honour. And many whom they scorn for their vile Parentage▪ may really prove much the Bet­ter Men; because the more Sober, Just, and Holy Christians. Indeed the Better men are▪ so much the Worse they make them­selves, by doing thus ill: For that nothing is so Bad as the Corruption of the Best. And when the Gentleman-Swearer shall come to undress for another World, he may wish, That not only his Gentility, but [Page 41] all Remembrance of it too, were put off with his Mortality, rather than find it Rise up to Enflame his Reckoning, that such a one as he should do so naught, whom God so deeply engaged to do better.

NEVER think then, Sir, That can at all Excuse, which does but still Aggrand the Crime; for the more you are a Gen­tleman, the more should you abhor the thing which Taints your Blood, especial­ly the most unbecoming thing in the World, which is, instead of paying Honourable Respects where Honour is due, to cast a rude Contempt on the very Head Foun­tain of all Honour. If no injury exaspe­rate so much as Contempt, and no Con­tempt so much as that of our Superiors; (who as they should be most Deserving of Respects, so are most Sensible of Dispa­ragement:) O! what is it then to Despise the Great God himself? The calling all men Lyars, and engaging the whole World against us, were less Rude, as well as less Unadvised than to Affront the Supream Majesty of the World, and grow upon him, as if he were a God of Clouts, that neither Saw, nor Heard, nor would ever Visit for these things.

[Page 42] Be not deceived, Sir, As God is not Mocked, to be imposed upon by the closest Hypocrite; so neither will he be Braved to Arrest Judgment against the most Rant­ing Son of Pride. Such, you know, God is said to Resist; and if Omnipotence set it self against a Leaf; alas, what can all its Rustling do? Belshazzar may Dazzle and Daunt some poor Mortals; but the Writ­ing on the Wall will much more Damp him­self. Whatever be the Figure he makes for a while in the World, though clad in Purple, underlaid with Gold, Pompously Attended, and Generally Admired; yea, to carry it higher, in the words of Zo­phar, though his Excellency Mount up to the Heavens, and his head reach to the Clouds; yet (how short is all this Triumphing?) he shall perish for ever like his own Dung; they that have seen him shall say, where is he? He that sits in Heaven shall deride the Vanity of such Fools that mock at Sin, and thought to set at naught the Dread­ful Judge of Quick and Dead; whose least Appearance (at his coming to Reckon with them) will loose the Joynts of their Loyns, and make their Knees smite one a­gainst another, and set them a begging the Favour of Rocks and Mountains to fall up­on 'em, and Conceal them from Him.

[Page 43] NOW, casting my self at the Gentle­mans Feet for this Parrhesia: That I may not be mistaken, for too bold with Magi­stracy, which none can in truth more highly Honour and Reverence, as the Ordinance of God, and for which I constantly do Bless his Name, as one of the especial Tokens of his Love to the World, in setting up these Shields of the Earth, to secure us from Wrong and Rapine; to whom, under God, we owe our Lives, and all the Good things we can call our own here, and all the outward advanta­ges of attaining to live for ever Blessed hereafter; and in consideration of the continual Care and Burden they undergo upon our Account, and the sundry Bene­fits we Enjoy by their means; we are not only to Accept it always, and every where, with all Thankfulness; but for supporting the Strength and Credit of such Govern­ment, chearfully contribute all that we are able.

Let me beg you'll believe me, Sir, That my Freedom of speaking to you in this your Worshipfull Capacity, is rather from an Excess, than any Defect of Honour to your Eminent Station; as being so high­ly concerned for any thing which to me [Page 44] seems derogating from the Dignity of your Office, and to weaken that Authority, which I know to be most usefull and necessary for the good of the World, that indeed my fear of your bringing the same into Contempt, is that which has given me all this boldness, to offer somewhat that might be cautionary to your serious considera­on; and though every one will not tell you so much, and but few, it may be, go so far with you; yet am I well assured, that herein I speak the sense of many, much more considerable than my self. The Celebrated Author of the Gentlemans Calling Reasons to the same effect, when he tells you, That the Zealous Endeavour of Reforming your selves and others, will rescue your Reputation from that Foulest Blot, of be­ing an Agent for Satan; and advance it to the highest Dignity of being Serviceable to God: So Bishop Sanderson long before; Fear not to say to the Wicked, Lift not up your Horn, so shall you preserve your Persons and your Places from being Baffled and Blurted by every Lewd Companion. Yea, wonder not, Sir, if upon such in Authority as are your Partners in this Guilt, all Thoughtful men do charge the Blame of that Impudent Domineering Wickedness, which gives so full a check to the Compleating of [Page 45] those Mercies, wherewith God has been pleas'd so far to Bless us already. When he has Graciously opened such a Fountain of Justice Above, where does it stick, but at the Ministers of Justice Below, if Judg­ment Run not down as Waters, and Righte­ousness as a Mighty Stream?

Did all the Kings Representatives but Represent also his Sobriety, Piety, and every thing in his Sacred Majesty, which is so Highly Praise-worthy; such Reful­gent Mirrors every where would strike that Awe and Confusion into the Wild Prophane Generation, as might make even those who hate to be Reformed, yet afraid and ashamed to be so avowedly Wick­ed. But this so much breaks the Royal Design for Reformation of Lives and Man­ners; when many of those whom the King Entrusts and Adjures to Assist him in it, (if not obnoxious themselves, and fit­ter to abide Censure than Inflict it, yet) are so Remiss in doing their Lords Will, to make the Vile Impious Gang feel their Power; that these dare Swear and Curse, and act worse than the Bruit even just be­fore their Faces; and the Men of Might can find no Hands, nor so much as a Tongue or Frown, to make them sensible of their Evil doings: Yea would to God we had [Page 46] none Disaffected to the Higher Powers upon this very account; because (in the Opinion of such) they take too much up­on them, in attempting to amend such Mat­ters as they judge not only tolerable, but even the Trim Ornaments, and Piquaint Relish of Society.

Have we none who give Suspition, that they would much better like their Prince if he were not so stiff a Back to the Edge▪ which he Commands us to turn against this Sin; for how can they, who are so incensed at their Reprovers, be very well pleas'd with such as set us on, whether the Heavenly Majesty or his Vicegerents on Earth? The snapping at us, does reflect somewhere else. And 'tis not in­deed to be expected, that such a Reign as casts disgrace upon them, should be heartily liked by them; if we were in worse Hands, it might better serve their Turns; But if Scandalous Wickedness shall not still be in Request, there's a mighty Crew will hold themselves aggrieved: Rang­ing doggedly too and fro, and Grudging if they be not satisfied, to have it as they have had it. And no Wonder if Pious Rulers be Maligned and Stomached by them; when alas, any strict Regularity is not only as Shackles, but even Death to 'em: [Page 47] To be curtail'd and abridg'd of their lewd Ranting Liberties, they cannot bear it.

YOU may have heard of a Time, Sir, when the foulest Extravagancy was count­ed an Expression of Loyalty: And some of the worst Mens Wickedness was to pass for a piece of Allegiance: Yea, such as boasted themselves the KING's best Friends, were ready to break the Heads of those that refused (with Swear­ing and Drinking) to break the Kings Laws: Speaking against such, whose So­briety put them to shame, after the Drink had put themselves almost past speaking. And all that were against their Ryot, were against the King streight, and who would not be of the Confederacy, to be Traytors to Christ, must down in their Black Book, for ill Members of the Go­vernment. (The old Nonsence of such as are hard put to it, still to keep their hold of those Favourite Sins, which God and his Messengers call them to Turn from.) Some may hang the head, and bewail their Misfortune, that those days are now past. But I dare not tell you, Sir, that I am sorry for this their sor­row; I must rather tell you, I take it for the great Greivance of all that are De­cent [Page 48] and Orderly in the Land, that such Evil Doers are no more snub'd and curb'd: Now they are driven out of their old Fatness, and cannot shelter their Licen­tious Pranks, under the Kings Name, can have no Protection, but from loose Magi­strates, when they offer to set up again.

But should we yet after all Miscarry, where but at the doors of such Cyphers and Supine Rulers, (the Pictures of Au­thority, that represent the King but on­ly in Effigie) must lye the Blood of a lost Nation? When it was put into your very Hands, to Maul the Topping Mis­chiefs, in Executing those Good Laws we have against such Incorrigible Offenders; and you could not find in your Hearts to do us so much Good, as to Act that Wor­thy Part: No, the Church might call long enough, Who will rise up for me against the Evill Doers? Who will stand up for me against the Workers of Iniquity? And you would not be pleased (to bear a share with those truely Great and Sensible Pa­triots, which, Blessed be God we have, and Rejoyce in them, as some of our Richest Treasure, and look upon them with Veneration, as Stars of the First Magnitude, and for Ruling well, count them Worthy of more than Double Honour. [Page 49] And we hope they are not so thin sow­ed over the Nation now, as Bishop San­derson observed in his Time, Here and there, saith he, One or two, peradventure in a whole side of a Country to be found, that make Conscience of their Duty more than the rest, and are forward to do the best Good they can: God's Blessing rest upon their Heads for it. You would not add to their Number,) to endear yourselves, and oblige your Country so far. But by an Oscitant Slackness, and Lax Conni­vance, (Bearing the Sword in vain, and never reflecting on the impudent Sinners, to expose them for Exemplary Sufferers, nor making them that do so Evil afraid:) You even bid the Lewd Companions, be filthy still: And so let all go to Naught and Ruine; as who should say, There, there, so would we have it.

LET me beg your Patience, Sir, while I insert here some Bigger Autho­rities than my own; that may peradven­ture move more with you: And the Ex­cellence of their Apposite Reasonings, and Happy Expressions, will, I hope, more than Recompence for the Length.

The Examples of many great Persons, who were able to be the Sovereign Resto­rers [Page 50] of Vertue, and Re-establishers of a Happy World, with the endless Bliss of many now perishing through their great Default, are at this day the onely Ruine and Despair of Goodness: Having forgot whose Lieutenants they are in the World, for what end they were placed, for what end they are honoured, and most of all, what a great Account they have to pass at the Last Audit: When their Favou­rites and Fancy-feeding Flatterers shall all shrink from them; and nothing but their own Deeds and Deserts accompany them, Sir Edw. Sand. Survey.

WHO, forsooth, is the Brave Spark, the Compleat Gentleman, the Man of Conversation and Address, but he that hath the Skill and Confidence (O Hea­vens, how mean a Skill! How mad a Confidence!) to Lard every Sentence with an Oath, or a Curse?—'Tis won­derful, that any Person of Rank should deign to Comply with so scurvy a Fashi­on: A Fashion more befitting the Scum of the People, than the Flower of the Gentry.—If Gentlemen would regard, the Vertues of their Ancestors, which advan­ced their Families, and severed them from the Vulgar: This degenerate Wanton­ness [Page 51] and Sordidness of Language, would return to the Dunghill, or rather (which God grant) be quite Banisht from the World: The Vulgar following their Ex­ample. Dr. Barrow.

THE Gates of Rome, the Gates of Hell, could not hurt us, if we did not hurt our selves: But as every Sin is a Traytor to a Mans own Soul; so every wicked Man is a Traytor to his King. Let him sooth and swear what he will, his Sins are so many Treasons against the Prince and State; for Ruine is from Ini­quity. Ye that are Magistrates then, not for GOD's sake only, but for the King's sake, whose Deputies you are, as he is God's: Not for Religion only, but for very Policy, as you tender the dear Life of our Gracious Sovereign: As you re­gard the sweet Peace of this State and Kingdom, the Welfare of this Church: Yea, as you love your own Life, Peace, Welfare; rouze up your Spirits, awaken your Christian Courage, and set your selves heartily against the Traytorly Sins of these Times, which threaten the Bane of all these. Bp. Hall. Panegyr.

THO' there be too many Springs which [Page 52] feed the Ocean of Prophanness and Im­piety that overflows this poor Nation, yet there will scarce any be found to have more liberally contributed, than the open and scandalous Viciousness of the Gentry.—'Tis they that have brought Vice into Countenance; made it the Mode and Fashion of the Times; so that Peo­ple dread the Singularity of being inno­cent: And a Man may with less peril of scorn, appear in the most superannua­ted Dress, than own the obsolete Quali­ties of Meekness, Sobriety, &c. When Gentlemen are Atheistical, Clowns will think themselves very modestly wicked, if they be but prophane.

—This Converts the Bridle into a Spur, when those that should discounte­nance Vice, thus animate and encourage it.—Turning Communities of Men in­to Herds of Beasts; yea, into Legions of Devils, Gent. Call.

SUCH love their own Ease so well, they care not which way things go, back­ward or forward, so that themselves may sit still, and not be troubled.—Of Gallio's Temper, who, though a foul Out­rage was committed under his Nose, and in sight of the Bench, yet the Text says, [Page 53] He cared for none of those things: So the fore­named Bishop. But Laws, (saith he) are better unmade than unkept: And with­out Execution, of less Regard than Scare-Crows in the Corn-Fields; of which the Birds are a little afraid at first, but soon after they are a little used to 'em, they grow so bold with 'em, as to sit on their Heads, and defile them. He calls you Lex Loquens, who are to breath fresh Life in­to the Languishing Laws; which of them­selves will not let even the Great Ones break through; but only by the Abuse of Bad Men, together with the Baseness or Cowardice of sordid or sluggish Magi­strates, who let the Wicked escape, (if not otherwise taken off:) dogg'd off by their own Guilty Consciences.

AND because you may bear such sharpness better from the Right Reverend, than from one of a much Inferiour Or­der: Take his Parabolical Representa­tion of the Matter to close this Part.

Imagine you saw a goodly Tall Fel­low, trickt up with Feathers and Ribbands, and a glittering Sword in his hand, enter the Lists like a Champion, and Challenge all Comers: By and by steps in another Man, perhaps of his own size, but with­out [Page 54] either Sword or Staff, and does but shew his Teeth, and stare upon him; whereat my Gay Champion first trembles, and anon for very fear lets his sword fall, and shrinks himself into the Crowd: Think what a ridiculous sight this would be: And just such another thing as this is a fearful Magistrate; that stands on the stage, and raises Expectation, as if he would do something: But out-brav'd with big Looks and Bug-Words, draws on himself scorn and contempt.—O divide not Honorem ab Onere. Do not de­cline those Burdens which cleave to the Honours you sustein. Harden your face against all the Temptations that would Warp you another way. Contemn the Frowns, the Favours and the Letters of Great Ones, in Comparison of that Trust, which Greater Ones than they, the KING and State, and yet a Greater than they, the Great GOD of Heaven and Earth hath reposed in you. Gird your Sword upon your Thigh; and (keep­ing ever within the Compass of your Commission, as the Sun in the Zodiack:) Go on as a Gyant that rejoyces to run his Race. So shall the Wicked fear you, the Good bless you, Posterity praise you, your own Hearts cheer you, and the Great God above Reward you.

[Page 55] TO speak to you once more, Sir, in your Military Capacity: (if I may Adventure so far upon the Sharps, to approach the Armed Champion, with nothing but this little Sling in my hand:) as the appre­hension of your Danger, and the neces­sity of your Case, is my Call: So the Goodness of the Cause, with my Affiance in him whom I plead it for, is all my defence. Your Post, I confess, Sir, is Ho­norable, appearing in the Head of a Com­pany, to Fight for your King and Coun­try, Laws and Religion: And we that stay at home, as we ought to Assist you all that Lies in us with our Prayers; So to neglect no opportunity of expressing our Thankful Resentment of the Noble Service, when you are pleas'd to engage in Hazzards and Hardships for us. He very ill deserves to share in any the Ad­vantages of your worthy Enterprize, who does not Honour, and Heartily Wish you well; But how he should truely Ho­nour you, who is nothing concerned for that which is your greatest Dishonour, or in earnest desire your Welfare, who ne­ner Cares, though you lye and dye in the most dangerous Damning Wicked­ness (as he would not let your Beast lye [Page 56] in a Ditch, if he could help it:) I do not understand. And for my part, Sir, I cannot but take this Plain-dealing with you for the best expression of my real in­clination to serve, and do you all the Good I am capable of. Should I be so unhap­py, as be misunderstood, I must bear that Cross. But now a Door is open to me, I shall not spare, (both for my own sake, and yours also that take up Arms for us,) to Cry aloud of that which so fearfully Endangers all.

IF Souldiers and Seamen, who carry their Lives in their hands, and Border so much nearer than the rest upon another World, will verifie the common observation made upon 'em, That Swearing, Damning, and all God-despising (so rife among them,) passes for the Fashionable Badge of their Profession, and a Characteristick Note to distinguish them from other men: They only tell us what Anomalous Creatures there are in Humane Nature, as well as of Bruital Kind; and that Africk is not the only Part of the World which breeds Monsters, when we can find so near Home such Profligate Offenders, as give too ma­nifest Specimens, what a Mighty Empire has the Devil, to Sweep down even Stars [Page 57] with his Tayl: To Metamorphose Men, and make them like himself Rage the more, Because they have but a short time; yea, and be then worst, when they have all the reason in the world to be Best of all; when they are going into the Field, or upon the Waters, to fly out upon their Judge Eternal, at whose Bar they are rea­dy to hold up their Hands, and mistake the best of Friends for their chiefest Foe; like a sort of Frantick Theomachi, that had no design upon Small or Great, but only that King of Israel who is the Lord of Hosts, to send up Volleys against Hea­ven, and dare the Divine Vengeance. Of whom we are Tempted to say, quite con­trary to what the men of Lystra did of Paul and Barnabas, The Devils are come up to us in the likeness of Men, when, with with this Hellish Oratory, they shew them­selves so Learned, in the Depths of Satan, and discharge such Eruptions, as if they car­ryed an Aetna or worse Fire within. Gent. Call. we need not be at the pains to draw their Picture, who Limn themselves in such hideous Blasphemies, as speak their Parentage too plain, and point out who is their Father, that Teaches them no better.

[Page 58] To whom agrees Sir Edwin Sandy's Ob­servation of some, that think it a Glorious Grace to Adore the King of a Country; but to Name or think Reverently of the Creator of the World, to proceed from a Timerous very Base-mindedness and Abjectness. The Souldiers Profession and Exercise (saies that Worthy Knight) was of Old reputed the on­ly School of Virtue, So that the Wisest Phi­losopher thought the Lacedaemonians there­fore more Vertuous, generally than other Na­tions, because they followed the Wars more. At this day, 'tis a Cause in all Places of clean contrary Effects, and now Infam'd with all Vice and Villany. Blasphemings have▪ so prevailed now in our Christian Camps, that if any Refrain them, he shall be upbraid­ed as no Souldier or Gallant minded Man: That the very Turks have the Christians Blaspheming of Christ in Execration, and will punish their Prisoners for it; yea, the Jews (in their Speculations of the Causes of the strange Successes of the Affairs of the World,) Assign the Reason of the Turks so prevailing against the Christians to be their Blasphemies and Blasphemous Oaths, which Wound the Ears of the very Heavens, and Cry to the High Throne of Justice for speedy Vengeance.

[Page 59] WELL may the Enemies Laugh among themselves, to see such goe to Fight for the Reformed Religion, who themselves so hate to be Reformed; and while they car­ry the Bible in their Colours, nothing but bid Defiance to its Blessed Author with their Tongues. How low then must be our hopes of a Blessing upon the Service of such Miscreants? Or though the Al­mighty (who, it's true can make the Worst Instruments serve the Best Purposes, (as Judas himself, who meant nothing less, was made subservient to the Worlds Re­demption: Though he) should give Pros­perity to the Arms of ill Men, for the sake of a Good Cause; (as sometimes he Flushes the Espousers of a Bad, to Fat them up for Slaughter:) Though he throw the Bryars in the Gap, to stop the Ene­mies Incursions; yet, after that service, what are those Bryars good for but the Fire?

But how much, Sir, might such as you do to stop the spreading Contagion of this Epidemick Plague so hot in our Armies, would you but (Phineas-like) stand up and Execute Judgment, and imploy the Influ­ence you have upon those under you, to make them feel the smart of it on their [Page 60] Backs or in their Purses, if not in the very Part Offending: (For I need not acquaint you, Sir, what are the Rules and Articles of War; you know this is one, That if any Officer or Souldier shall presume to Blas­pheme God, he shall have his Tongue Bored through with a Red hot Iron.) At least leave your Souldiers no Cover to shelter under their Commanders Example or Authori­ty. The Gospel tells you of a Man in Authority that had Souldiers under him, who did not think himself worthy the Lord Je­sus should come under his Roof; and can you ever act, as if you thought the same Lord unworthy to come into your Mouth, un­less it be to Rally him with an Oath? I need not tell you, Sir, That you have no Commission from the King, so to Fight a­gainst the God by whom he Reigns. And how can you really serve their Majesties, if you have not a more Awful Regard of the Heavenly Majesty? And if you do not make those who are subject to your Discipline know their Commander for a better Leader, than to goe before them in such Desperate ways as Emboldens the Common Souldiers to be Common Swearers. For Great mens Vices are of a more Gyant­ly Frame; they Proclaim solemn War with Heaven, Levy Forcs and draw in multitudes [Page 61] of Abettors and Confederates in their Hosti­lities, and God Knows, this Ʋnevangelical kind of Violence the Kingdom of Hea­ven daily suffers. O! that the Christians and Leaders of these unhappy Troops would at last think fit to sound a Retreat; that they would in Pity, if not to themselves, yet to their seduced Followers, cease thus Desperately to rush upon the mouth of the Canon, the Jaws of Hell. Gent. Call.

O! that you would set your Souldiers another sort of Coppy, Sir, and if you Punish them for any Disorders, let not that Prophaness escape unpunished, which is the Grand Root of every Irregularity, and renders the Guilty suspicious indeed to have little Conscience of any thing they say or do. Make not your self an Ac­cessary, under pretence of Pity; when there is no real Kindness at all in the case, but rather cruel Enmity to your Neigh­bour, to your Nation, and to your Soul, to Heal with Pestilent Caitiffs against God and the King. Teach their Tongues, as well as the rest of their Bodies, to keep better Rank and File; and think it not enough to make them set their Feet right on the Earth as long as they set their Mouth against the Heavens: and so call [Page 62] for a Curse on every Enterprize, where in such sorry Tools are imployed.

Sir, You know better things than to think this the way for Souldiers to De­monstrate their Valour in Challenging the Lord of Armies, and to prove they are no Cowards, because they can so Resist and Assault Omnipotency it self, as long as its Owner keeps silence and lets them alone. But they that can be so sottish to think the Great God even altogether such a one as themselves; yea, not only their Match, but their Subject: Alas, how will this their mad Courage be cool'd, when the Holy one and Just, the irresistible Judge of all the Earth, (from whose face Heaven and Earth will fly away) shall come to visit and avenge, to Reprove and set all these things in Order before them? How much does it concern you to consider this betimes, all ye that so Forget God, and your selves? Least he tear you in pieces, and there be none to Deliver! When his Wrath shall be poured out like Fire, to divert or abide it, with all your For­ces, you may as well think, with a Wisp of Straw, to withstand a mighty shower of Flames rain'd down from Heaven.

[Page 63] NOW knowing these Terrors of the Lord, we perswade men. And O! that we could find all but so perswadeable, as to be wil­ling to do the greatest good to their own dear Souls! For how many Leviathans are there that laugh at the shaking of all our Spears? And only make themselves merry at the Preachers sober sadness? How many hardned Hearts, that like Anvils, beat back every stroke in our Faces? Let Boanerges thunder the De­nuntiations of God's Word, and even flash the Fire of Hell upon 'em: There are Rocks that stand sturdy and uncon­cern'd, and let themselves be out done by the Devils that Believe and Trem­ble.

To slight their Sins, and deride the Parson, is their brave accomplishment: And 'twere well, if he that shall Judge 'em could escape 'em: If their bold Drollery would stop, ere it grew up to Heaven, to give a dire proof, that they no more Fear God than Regard Men.

No such disparagement in the World with such, as Repentance. Let them be sick even to Death, the haughty Spirit [Page 64] will not suffer them to own any Disease. What! Such as they so reflect on them­selves, and oblige the Barking Priest with a Palinode? and close up all the damn­ing, with damning the Bedlam Humour it self? (As the late Earl of Rochester, when come to himself, cryed out of This Language of Fiends hanging yet about him. (Bp. Burn.) They scorn no dirty thing more, than to lose themselves thus a­mong their Champions for the Cause, and be Posted up for silly Sneaks, and Contemptible Renegades: After all their Masterless sporting themselves in the wide Sea of Libertinism, to Tack a­bout and strike Sail to dull Sobriety. No, let them alone to Immure them­selves in the undisturbed Possession of all their Impieties, and steal upon Hell it self, never knowing the worst, till it be too late for Remedy. Away with these Sowr Michaiahs, that Prophecy no good con­cerning them, but Evil. Let the Righteous Reprove them; It shall be at his peril. (Though a much greater and better Man call'd it, a precious Oyl that should not break his Head.) They that heartily love their Sins, even above God and Heaven, are too touchy so to be dealt with. Who offers to make any Breach upon [Page 65] their Darlings, they could (but for en­dangering their own) even break his Neck.

Ah Lord, who shall convince these fu­rious Drivers to set upon their Evil, po­sting along the Wide Way, and mad at any that offers to stop them; till the Fly­ing Roll of Curses, not only come and En­ter their Houses, but, seize their Persons too: And that Execration which they prided in as their Garment, derive it self like Water and Oyl into their Bowels and Bones; and there stick to 'em, fastned with the Final Doom, Depart ye Cursed.

'Tis worthy that Almighty Spirit who comes to Convince the World of Sin, to make them so sensible as to know their Transgressions: And prevent others for impeaching them, by bringing them to do that Office upon themselves, and be first in their own Accusation: O may the Divine Power and Mercy be Glori­rified in giving Repentance to such as so Oppose themselves.

BUT shall I now beg of you, good Sir, for his sake, by whose Name you are called, only with Patience, and some [Page 66] serious Thoughtfulness, to Weigh the Considerations, that I have made bold here to set before you. And should a­ny sharpness of Expression, herein possi­bly offend you; would you look upon it, only as an Overflowing of earnest Zeal, you would not deny me your Par­don: Nor for the sake of ought, that may not be thought so fitly said, deny your self the Benefit of all the rest, which may be neither impertinent nor unpro­fitable, for you to bestow a few of your best Thoughts upon.

O how happy, Sir, should I count my self, could I but prevail with you to re­nounce and abhor the thing, which I am sure never did you any good; yea, which if you stick to it, will certainly do you the most great and irreparable Hurt. I speak to one quick and sharp to discern between Right and Wrong: O do not, for want of a little sober Recollection, degrade your self to a Level with the dullest; suffering all your Acuteness to fail you, while you adhere still to a Senseless Sin, that the more Reproaches your un­derstanding, because it has nothing but its own down-right Sinfulness, for a temp­tation. When God has given you Wis­dom, [Page 67] and many fair Accomplishments, to render your Company and Conversa­tion so acceptable: O why will you soyl and desecrate all your Commenda­ble Properties, with the Allowance of that filthy Habit, like a frightful Bear-Skin, to cover 'em? Away with it, Sir, I beseech you, and fling it from you with the greatest scorn and detestation. Let me beg of you by all that ought to be most dear to you, give me not the trouble of a Repulse, where, to grant my Request, you may do your self so great a Kindness.

I am the more importunate, Sir, as upon your own particular Account, that I might be instrumental, by your leave, to do you some of the best service; so for the sake of the Publick too, because, I most heartily concur with you in the Design, wherein you are at present en­gaged: On which our Peace and Safe­ty, and all our happyest Interests so much depend: And because I take the desi­red Issue of that design, so much to de­pend upon our Reconciliation to the of­fended Majesty of Heaven; especially as to the Notorious Offences, that so open­ly affront him, and even bid Defiance to [Page 68] his Holy Word. However, the securing of your own Soul, (which you know not how soon may be dispatch'd away to its Eternal Dwellings, after so many whom you have seen cut off before you) is for certain extreamly concern'd in your cheerful Complyance with these my earnest Solicitations.

IF for Conscience it be, Sir, that you take up Arms, What is it but evident self-con­tradiction, to struggle still against Consci­ence, in harbouring so known a Wicked­ness? And if you enter into War, for the sake of Peace, the Divine Promise, is, That when a Mans Ways please the Lord, he will make even his Enemies to be at Peace with him. This as far as infi­nite Wisdom sees fit and Good: But thus, in any Case, you shall be sure of a far better Peace, even that of GOD: And the most refreshing serenity and ap­plause of your own Breast; which in vain you may expect, till this curs'd Make-Bate be turned out. And if you go into the Field seeking Honour; the Reforma­tion I am so urgent for, will bring you in the Esteem and Praise of all, whose Good Thoughts and Good Words are worth the having. Yea, 'twill make you [Page 69] Great and Conspicuous in the sight of Hea­ven it self, where nothing looks big and renowned, but what is subservient to the Divine Glory. Thus, you shall get the Noblest of all Victories, That over your self; and over the Scoffs and Railleries of that Embittered Pack, who snarl most at the thing which pleases GOD best: (Growing to regard their Noise no more, than that of the Barking Animals.) And thus shall you Fight, not only for the Ap­plause of the People, or the Favour of your Prince, or the Fulness of the World; but for a Crown and a Throne: And that such, to which all the Crowns and Thrones on Earth are no better than the Faintest Shadows. For the Heavenly Glory admits of no Hyperbole; and is too bright for Mortal Eye to behold, too vast for Heart of Man to Conceive. How worthy then of the best Gentlemans Ambition? And who can ever do wiser and nobler, than to take the Excellent Way which leads to that Blessed End? Even so to Glorifie GOD now, that GOD may Glorifie him forever.

THAT you may ride on so prospe­rously, Sir, till you have hewed Agag in pieces, trodden under foot this inveterate [Page 70] Foe, and every deadly Enemy of your Soul; and become the Favourite of God, and triumph in the Everlasting Enjoy­ment of the Conquerors Joy and Glory; is the worst, Sir, that I wish you, and my Hearty Prayer to GOD for you, who am, as formerly,

Sir, your, &c.


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